Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Post of Links

A quick note, since the last time I did a post of links, I started using pocket as my cross-platform way of keeping up with links and webpages. As opposed to my old method, this means I am more likely to have what I want to link to. But it also means I am more likely to miss hat tips and other thank yous for these links. I apologize in advance if I forget any of you. (Also, it seems today is the day of book reviews)

Peter Gratton has a review of Hasna Sharp's Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization. Go read it. For those of you who do animal studies, Sharp's book is of real interest, even though Gratton doesn't get into depth about those issues in his review. My hope is to post a sort of targeted review of that part of Sharp's work. Regardless of how one comes about in agreeing or disagreeing with Sharp, it is a really smart book. Read the review, and then go read the book.

Malcolm Bull (of the recent Anti-Nietzsche) has a review of Stephen Gardiner's A Perfect Moral Storm in LRB. To give you a taste of some of the issues and questions that Bull explores in this piece:

These are in many respects valid arguments, but they miss the point that were it not for climate change, we would be giving even less thought to polar bears, or to the global poor, and would see little connection between our actions and their fate. As Peter Unger’s Living High and Letting Die showed, our customary moral intuitions barely extend to poor foreigners, let alone to their descendants, or to Arctic fauna. It is thanks to climate change that an entire body of political thought has emerged which positions our everyday actions in direct relation to their most distant consequences.

Nikolay Karkov reviews Pignarre and Stengers Capitalist Sorcery (full disclosure, Nikolay and I went to grad school together). I really appreciated that book, and Nikolay's review is solid and informative. He ends his review critiquing the eurocentric nature of parts of Capitalist Sorcery. If anything, he undersells that issue. While again deeply appreciating the book, there were several moments of jaw-dropping eurocentrism. To take one moment that Nikolay gestures toward, the authors quote (kinda) Audre Lorde. Specifically, they write: "Black American feminists have posed the question: 'Can the house of the master be dismantled with the master's tools?' (p. 108)". So, see the issue? Rather than actually quote and cite Audre Lorde, she becomes an rather strange subject position of "Black American feminists". And it isn't as if this book is opposed to quoting and citing people. Deleuze, Guattari, Starhawk, etc. all get cited as individuals. No one goes, "French philosophers have posed the question of desiring machines and multiplicity". There are other instances as well. But I also want to reiterate how much I generally like, appreciate, and have been inspired by this book.

Here is an interview (.pdf) with Kenyan philosopher Reginald M.J. Oduor about African philosophy and non-human animals. It is mostly opposed to the idea that animal issues play a significant role in African philosophy, but it is still pretty fascinating. For example, here is one point he makes, "In fact, in indigenous African thought, humans are not animals; rather, they are in a class of their own which is much higher than that of animals. As such, even the phrase “non-human animals” is alien to indigenous African thought."

Okay, I have to run here, but in response to recent discussion of the frontwoman of Against Me! (read this amazing post from HJM for more), here is one from Against Me!